Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Trader Joe’s package of gluten-free rolled oats

Both boys have tried going gluten-free for reasons not clear to me but clear enough to them that we started buying brown rice pasta, gluten-free bread, and—before the one left at home went off sugar as well (!!)—baking gluten-free cookies. One day at Trader Joe’s, I noticed a package of gluten-free rolled oats. Oats naturally are gluten-free but can become cross-contaminated, so if you are serious about a completely gluten-free diet, you need gluten-free oats. On the back of the package was a recipe for gluten-free cookies made with peanut butter. They sounded good to me so I thought I’d make them. And then discovered that the recipe did not follow the first, cardinal rule of recipe writing: the ingredients MUST be listed in the order used in the method. That was just the first of several things I found wrong and altered as I went along. The cookies were crisp and chewy, and—with the oats, peanut butter, dried fruit, and nuts—nearly qualify as real food, not dessert. If you need an excuse to eat them, call them energy bars. You will not be wrong.


Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: About 15 minutes; baking time, about 12 minutes   |   Servings: Makes about 6 dozen cookies; ½ batch makes about 40


  1. 57 g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  2. 147 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  3. 147 g (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 269 g (1 cup) peanut butter
  9. 340 g (3 cups) gluten-free rolled oats
  10. 170 g chocolate chips, raisins, or dried cranberries
  11. 113 g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat in. Add the vanilla, baking soda and salt and mix well. With the machine on low, add the peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and seeds.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. If the dough is too sticky to work with, refrigerate it for 30 to 60 minutes to chill and stiffen. Arrange small pieces (about 1 teaspoon) of the dough on the prepared baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each. Flatten the dough with the bottom of a glass dipped in water. Neaten the edges with wet fingers. The cookies tend to be crumbly and this step helps hold them together.
  3. Bake until lightly colored around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute and then transfer to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Other Notes

Shopping list

Fresh ingredients: 2 ounces unsalted butter, 2 large eggs

Staples: vanilla extract, granulated sugar, brown sugar, kosher salt, gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats, baking soda, unsweetened peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, your choice), semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (or raisins or cranberries), sunflower seeds (or walnuts or pecans)


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About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

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